May 25, 2024, 7:29 pm

HC directs to take measures to stop medicine price hike

  • Update Time : Tuesday, April 30, 2024
  • 10 Time View
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TDS Desk:
The High Court (HC) on Monday directed the authorities concerned to take effective measures to stop the price hike of medicine by drug companies on their own will. HC Justice Md Mustafa Zaman Islam and Justice Md Atabullah passed the order after an initial hearing of a petition submitted by Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) in the public interest.
The court also issued a rule asking why the inaction by the Directorate General of Drug Administration to fix the price of medicine as per section 30 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act-2023 won’t be declared illegal. Moreover, the HC sought to know why directives wouldn’t be given to set prices of all medicines through formulating a rule as per section 76 of the act. The health secretary, director general of Health Services and director general of Drug Administration, director general of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), director general of Directorate of National Consumers Right Protection, and chairman of Bangladesh Competition Commission were made respondents to the rule. Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua stood for the petitioner in the court while Deputy Attorney General Tushar Kanti Roy, Assistant Attorney Generals Selim Azad and Anis Ul Mawa represented the state. After the hearing, lawyer Jyotirmoy told the media that the HC directed to stop import of raw materials for drug production from abroad and sale of foreign medicine by the drug companies, he said. He informed that the CAB submitted the petition after several media outlets reported ”price of medicine shot up by upto 140 percent in two weeks”.
Prices of all kinds of medicine including antibiotic tablets, insulin and injections for diabetic patients were hiked by the drug companies. However, the drug companies held the devaluation of local currency against dollar and the increase in the price of raw materials in the international market responsible. Besides, the price hike of gas and electricity was also blamed, they claimed. Though the government has authority to fix the prices of medicines through a gazette notification it has not issued any such gazette notification since 2000. (Source: UNB)


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